Anehein, CA (PressExposure) June 15, 2009 -- The Pittsburgh Penguins forced a seventh and deciding game in the Stanley Cup final by virtue of a 2-1 win over the Detroit Red Wings last night-the Pens cashed in at -130 and the Total went Under 5.5.
History is not on the Penguins' side, as the last time a road team won a championship Game 7 in the MLB, NBA or NHL was back in 1979 when the Pittsburgh Pirates, ironically enough, won the World Series in Baltimore.
Before the start of the Stanley Cup finals between the Pittsburgh Penguins and the Detroit Red Wings, much was made of the resemblance to the finals between the Edmonton Oilers and the Islanders 25 seasons earlier, the last time the defending champions met the team they had defeated the previous year for the Cup. This year's finals, it was said, could be another instance of the new league power dethroning the old one.
As long as General Manager Ray Shero can manage the salary cap, the Penguins are certainly poised to become an N.H.L. powerhouse, with a group of under-25 talents led by the stars Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin, who was named the most valuable player of the postseason; role players like Jordan Staal, Tyler Kennedy and Maxime Talbot, who scored both of Pittsburgh's goals in Game 7; the blue-line spark plug Kris Letang; and the athletic and poised goaltender Marc-Andre Fleury. But the parallel may not hold up. Detroit is not like the end-of-the-line Islanders, who stuck too long with older players.
The contributions this spring of young Red Wings like Darren Helm, Jonathan Ericsson, Valtteri Filppula and Justin Abdelkader, alongside those of the established stars Henrik Zetterberg, Pavel Datsyuk, Johan Franzen and Niklas Kronwall, who are still very much in their primes, indicate that the Red Wings will probably not be fading soon.
Home teams have gone 18-0 in championship Game 7s.
Pittsburgh is +170 and Detroit is -200, the Total is set at 5.5.
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